By Tate Kamish
In preparation for Saturday’s show with Dr. Danny (of The Lemon Twigs), we wanted to get to know our local artists, Ceramic Animal and Sixteen Jackies, a little bit better. Read on to find out more about some of their favorite places to go in Philly, pre-show rituals, dream reality TV shows, and more! For tickets, click here.
How long have you been playing together as a group?
Warren, Elliott, and I are brothers, we have been playing together since we were squirts. We started playing out together maybe 4 or 5 years ago doing covers. Then Ceramic Animal came on about 2 years ago. Our first bassist left the band, so our friend Dallas hopped on board about 6 months ago which has been great. – Erik
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
We first show glory to the Gods by exhibiting our strength and endurance. We do this by seeing who can lift Erik the highest off of the ground. Dallas is the current record holder but he has the height advantage and also the longest arms. Elliott almost had him beat but the grip in El’s left hand is much weaker than his right – this made the initial heave lopsided and upon reaching apex, Erik’s right foot was lower than his left (the lowest portion of Erik’s body is the official result). After that we participate in the ceremonial Purgato Vestimenta Sua or “The Steaming of the Suit”. This is where we steam out the wrinkles in our handsome suits. We do this for 30 minutes in absolute silence. We then slue some swill and I change my strings. – Warren
What are some of your favorite things to do/places to go in Philly?
We usually kick around Northern Liberties or Fishburgh. I like Ortlieb’s because that is where me and my best cronies go. – Warren
How do you think Philly has shaped you as a band–if you think it has?
Well, we used to say we were a band from Doylestown but now we trick everyone by saying we are a band from Philly 🙂 – but really much of what I write about stems from experiences I’ve had here. We have also met a lot of good cats that have guided us with advice and shows when we were first kicking off. – Warren
What kind of experience do you want to create at your shows?
We want to bring energy, we want to expand the album tracks and make sure that the songs feel live. I have always dug the idea that the record and the live set are two unique experiences. There are also a few distinct original songs we only play at our shows. – Warren
Congrats on qualifying for SXSW. How do you feel about that?
It’s a real treat, something we have been looking forward to for a while. There are a lot of bands we want to see, as well as supporting our Philly m8s. We really just want to soak as much in as possible. – Warren
Given that your name is Ceramic Animal, what do you think the “spirit animal” of the band would be?
Probably the Ouroboros. – Erik
Ceramic Animal’s second album is due out this spring. In the meantime, you can marinate in their dreamy single, “So Familiar,” below:
Questions answered by lead singer, Joey DeMarco–pictured on the far left.
How long have you been playing together as a group?
We’ve been playing together since May of 2016 but before that all of us have had previous projects with Ian (our drummer) over the years. You can still find two of them, Teenage Mysticism and The Plums, here and there on the internet.
Are you all from Philly?
Everyone in the band besides me is from York, PA. I’m from Fredericksburg, VA but I lived in York back in 2012 which is when I met all of them.
What are some of your favorite spots in Philly?
To be honest my personal favorite spots in Philly are the three Ritz theaters in Old City. They’re basically my church.
Who would your dream collaboration be with? Dead or alive…
My dream collaboration would be with Brian Eno as a producer in the mid 70s, around the time he was working with Devo, Bowie and countless others. He truly was a wellspring of shocking and fun ideas that still seem inventive 40 years later. Collaborating with Bjork or Kanye wouldn’t be too shabby either…
I heard you are a big fan of horror movies… What is your favorite horror movie? Why?
My three favorite horror movies (a.k.a. my favorite movies) right now are Whatever Happened To Baby Jane (1962), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and Black Christmas (1974) but if you really twisted my arm I’d say Texas Chainsaw is my favorite. I love the gritty camerawork and am floored by the level of savagery Tobe Hooper was able to conjure so early on in the development of “the slasher film” as a genre. There are a ton of interesting ideas at play and the last 30 minutes couldn’t be more sonically abrasive and horrifying. The last song off of our upcoming EP is called “VHS #2 (Masks)” and I pulled all sorts of images and actions from TCM for the lyrics.
How do you want the audience to feel at your shows?
If they’re a stiff type of person that isn’t into the idea of seeing a performer in drag or in general is just too easily shocked, I’d like to be the hand that pushes them out of their comfort zone, encourages them to let their freak flag fly, and hopefully gets them to move their hips a little. As for all the weirdos and freaks out there I just want them do be hyped on what we’re doing and I want to be a voice that emboldens their creativity and willingness to stand out in the crowd, like what Bowie was for teenagers back in the day. I know I’m not that voice yet but, y’know… hopefully someday.
Describe your music in one word.
What was your AIM username?
What’s funny is I used AIM every single day of my like back when I was 14 and 15 and I have no idea what my username was.
If you had to come up with a concept for a reality TV show, what would it be?
Ok so get this, a celebrity murder-mystery dinner party type thing with John Waters as the host. Famous people getting “killed off” one by one while the remaining contestants try to find the killer. Some ideas for guests on the first episode: Nicole Kidman, Uma Thurman, Crispin Glover, RuPaul, and Nicholas Cage. I dunno, I’d watch it.